Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Diary

A random excerpt from my previously never read travel diary! Shame the scanning is poor, the hand writing messy, and the language Spanish 

When I was overseas I discovered something amazing. The day before I left, a close friend gave me a little black book with blank pages on the inside. This became my diary for the next eight and a half months. With varying frequency I used it as a means of expressing whatever feelings I may have had at the time. Typical diary stuff, nothing new or special really, except that it was the first time I had kept a serious diary.

The first real benefits I found was that the thoughts swimming round my head were often convoluted and only half developed. But after writing some of them down it was as if they were given a foundation and I could expand upon them from there. In other words I could complete the thoughts and they would leave my head with much more clarity. It was a similar feeling to a mild state of meditation, my brain becoming focused and at peace with my surroundings.

Then of course there is the obvious benefit of nostalgia that a diary keeps. I could re-read an entry from only a month earlier and get a clear picture of where my head was at, and how far it has come since then. There would be attempts at humour that I wrote for no one. Reminders of places I visited and people I met. It was my diary that allowed me to recapture some of the emotion I felt during my time at Villa Tunari with Roy. There were emotional states which, on reflection, offered an interesting insight into where my head could get to; whether it was frustrated, neutral, happy or deep and philosophical. My diary, even now as I sometimes read a page at random, offers exponentially greater memories of my magical mystery tour than any of the hundreds of photos I took.

And the final, and unexpected benefit, I discovered was that writing a diary was a great way to open up the avenues of creativity. Just writing about what I was feeling at the time would almost inevitably take me to a state where I could expand upon ideas for stories or complete the many existential ramblings I had (a lot of which made it onto this blog many months later).

Naturally when I returned home I realised that I should keep another diary. Although I don’t write in it nearly as often as I would overseas, I still use it to gain all the benefits that I stated above. Sometimes I use it to clear my clogged up head. It has now reached the age where I can reminisce about some of my scribbled emotions from yesteryear. Sometimes I feel like writing a blog but have nothing in my head to write about, so I just start by writing a diary entry and most the time some ideas will come…this was one of them.

Love Now. Do everything out of love, give only love. Receive only love. Be love
- A passage from from the Souh American scriptures

- Eden (while listening to Animals – Pink Floyd)


  1. That's cool. I started writing a diary a couple of weeks ago. Though I only seem to be writing in it every few days, regardless of how much I write it still feels good.

    Although I don't feel burdened by the shit I think about, when I write it down I feel like I'm lifting a weight of my mind.

    B and I also kept a daily log of what we'd been up to when we were in Europe. I haven't read it since and it's been about 18 months. Might get that out tonight!

  2. Nice one, and you wrote it in Spanish, killing a few birds there.

    One regret I have about studying in the States was not keeping a diary - would be cool to read back and reflect.

    The blog is also a good way as you mention to collate random thoughts into something meaningful.

  3. On that note ... how do I write my first blog? If you guys don't mind my crashing in on your party? :)